Mondaying

Right now, I am mostly…

Creating : Last week, while I was nannying, I did quite a lot of art activities with the children. I ended up doing some myself, and I was quite proud of myself when I came up with the doodle I featured in last week’s Friday Letters, and the above flamingo. I know that they aren’t great, but I’m so bad at drawing, so I’m rather proud of myself!

Reading : I went to the library to collect my reserved books the other day, and I’m very pleased with what I have! The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, which I’ve been waiting for for a while, and How to Talk Like a Local by Susie Dent, and It’s Not Me It’s You by Jon Richardson. Both of these are the result of watching 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown on a Friday night!

Achieving : This is the month when I am going to get some items crossed off my 31 Before 31 list; I have a trip to London planned this week to get at least two of them done!

Correcting : I made an error when I originally did my 31 Before 31 list. I called something by the wrong name, but it’s now corrected and I’m not telling you what the mistake was because it was a silly one!

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Anticipating
: The first The Monuments Men trailer finally arrived at the end of last week, and although it’s a little different to what I was expecting, I am still very excited.

Watching : Is anyone else hooked on Top of the Lake? I’m a little bit behind, having missed three weeks and only caught up with one, but I’m completely enthralled. It’s so different to what I usually watch, but it’s just so darn good. All the episodes that have aired on BBC2 so far are still on iPlayer, so if you want to catch up, you still have time. I’d definitely recommend it!

Counting : I’m counting down, specifically. Today it is three months until my birthday!

Happy Birthday Crafty Creatives!

I love the idea of a monthly subscription box, but despite all the beauty options on the market, that kind of thing has never really appealed to me. But when I heard about Crafty Creatives, a monthly crafty subscription box, I knew that this was the box for me!

When Claire and Isobel at Crafty Creatives announced that they were looking for bloggers to help them celebrate their first birthday, I was really eager to get involved. I know that Crafty Creatives are really grateful to all the lovely bloggers who have taken them to their hearts, and blogged about the boxes themselves and all the fabulous things that they have created from them. Equally, I know lots of bloggers who pounce on their postman at a certain time each month, eager to get their hands on the latest offerings!

The box I received was their special birthday box, and I was very excited when the postman knocked on my door with it on Saturday morning! This box is slightly different from usual; it is kit-based, and contains all the things you need for five different flowers.

Crafty Creatives

Even the paper that the bits come wrapped in is lovely – I’ll be squirrelling it away with my scrapbook supplies as I’m sure it will come in useful some day!

Crafty Creatives Birthday Box

The kit came with a balloon, so of course I had to blow it up for the photos!

Crafty Creatives Felt Flower

As you can see, the leaflet included with the box contains detailed instructions for each flower. The first is a felt flower that I should be able to make without too much difficulty!

Crafty Creatives Stocking Flower

Next up is a stocking flower. I haven’t ever really worked with this kind of wire before, but I am always seeing tutorials using it, so I am looking forward to giving this one a go to see if I can master it!

Crafty Creatives French Beaded Flower

The French beaded flower is the one that I think will probably test my patience! But the result is really pretty, so I think it will probably be worth it.

Crafty Creatives Paper Flower Hair Slide

Unfortunately it would seem that the hair slide that I need to make this paper flower hair slide wasn’t included in my box! That’s not too much of a problem though, because I can easily buy one if I decide that I want to wear a paper flower in my hair!

Crafty Creatives Crepe Paper Flower Bunch

The last kit is for a crepe paper flower bunch. I don’t think I’ve used crepe paper since I was in primary school! If I make this and it looks good, I think it would make a nice gift for someone in a pretty vase.

Crafty Creatives First Birthday

Finally, the box included a handful of bits and pieces that are extras, and can be used in your own crafts. I particularly like the buttons (I love buttons), and the hummingbird charm. I am going to put that on a long necklace as soon as as I get the chance!

Crafty Creatives Hummingbird

Each Crafty Creatives box will set you back £10, plus £2.95 for postage and packaging. There is no contract, so you can stop whenever you want. As I mentioned, this month’s box is a little different to normal, as usually you receive lots of different crafty supplies, with one or two kits included. Previous themes have included Nautical, Blues and The Treat Box (sounds delicious!).

Although at the moment Crafty Creatives are only shipping to the UK, they do have plans to ship to EU countries soon, and if you are in the US or Canada, you should sign up to the mailing list for further details!

I think it’s easy to see that for a monthly price of £12.95, you are getting a lot of supplies that would ordinarily cost you a lot more. As well as that, you are getting inspiration to create things that you might not otherwise have thought of! There are even gift options available for three, six, or twelve months, so if someone has a birthday coming up, you can treat them to a parcel full of goodies every month. What could be better?

As a special birthday treat, Crafty Creatives have given me a discount code to offer to my lovely readers. The first ten people to sign up will get 25% off their first box. Please use the code CRAFTYDARLING when ordering (please note that Crafty Creatives only ship to the UK).

Happy Birthday Crafty Creatives, here’s to the next twelve months!

* Crafty Creatives provided me with this box free of charge as part of their birthday celebrations. As ever, all opinions are my own.

Afternoon Tea in a Box

It has now become a bit of a tradition for me to blog about what I have made for my friends’ birthdays. It turned out this year that, as we all turned thirty, I didn’t have the money to splurge on lovely gifts, so I had to resort to making them in one way or another. You may remember that I made a scrapbook/photo album for Anna, and a Lord of the Rings cross stitch for Jen. The last of our gang, Vicky, turned thirty a couple of weeks ago, and of course I wanted to make something special to mark the occasion!

In a spark of inspiration one evening, I decided that I wanted to make her an Afternoon Tea in a Box. I don’t really know where the idea came from, but in my head, it was perfect. A vintage tea cup, some lovely tea, maybe some baked goods, and some recipe cards for her to make some of her own goodies, all packaged in a lovely box.

In the end, of course, it didn’t turn out quite as I was expecting it to. You know when you just have this idea in your head of the way you want something to be, and then in reality, it’s nothing like it? That happens to me all the time when it comes to creative things. I’m a tryer, but I don’t always quite hit the nail on the head.

Talking of being a tryer – I took some photos, but they aren’t the best photos in the world!

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As you can see, Afternoon Tea in a Box consisted of a cup, saucer and plate set, three different types of tea bags, some shortbread that I whipped up, and though you can’t see it, a little pot of Wilkin’s jam. I also made some bunting (this was one of things that wasn’t as I pictured it in my head, because I couldn’t find all my craft supplies!), and labelled each item with a little card that I made by stamping a heard shape and threading with ribbon.

I was actually quite proud of the finished product, and I know that Vicky loved it, and that’s the main thing! I hope she gets to drink lots of lovely tea, and thinks of me while she’s doing so!

Mondaying

Right now I am mostly…

Reading : My reading has taken a backseat to something this month, though I can’t think what that something could be! I am going to struggle for a decent total this month, which will put me behind, yet again! But I got a great book from the library on Saturday, and I’m making good progress with it. It’s called Watching the English by Kate Fox, and it’s really fascinating!

Learning : One of my 31 Before 31 items is to learn German, and I had been using the Duolingo app and doing really well (completing all the levels on there will count as a win for me). But then I decided to give the French lessons a whirl, and I’m finding that a lot more interesting!

Listening : All Bon Jovi, all the time, pretty much.

Being : Brave! In recent years I have come to realise that my fear of animals is one that I can easily get over, if I spend time with more nice animals. This weekend my friend Hannah was housesitting, and there was a dog and three cats there. I surprised myself by how much enjoyed spending a bit of time with these pets!

Baking : Another birthday cake, this time for my dad. It was a bit of a rush job, so I ended up just making a basic victoria sponge and then getting a little bit inventive with the icing. When I say inventive, I mean cutting a six and a seven template out, and using sprinkles to make the numbers. My dad couldn’t even tell that his age was on the cake.

Watching : I watched Titanic in 3D on Saturday, on the first 3D television I’ve ever used. It was fun, but I’m not the biggest fan of 3D. It doesn’t add anything to the overall experience of a film, for me. We watched Life of Pi too, but I think we did something wrong because that wasn’t in 3D at all. Probably for the best, because who wants to see a 3D whale? In case you are wondering, that’s Kate Winslet in my wine glass there.